Skip Navigation
 Patient Care      Medical University       Research at MUSC

   University News


Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

 Dear Colleagues:

Biorepository Update

In December of last year, the biorepository planning group presented recommendations ( to the College of Medicine for future development of biorepository access to the college.  One of the recommendations was to develop an IT infrastructure for managing sample collections and the development of software that allows users to search for samples from donors with specific phenotypes.  To meet this goal, the COM recently released the biorepository query tool, aka, TissueTracker, V1.0 software.  This program allows investigators to search for samples in the Hollings Cancer Center, SCTR and Brain Bank collections.  TissueTracker can be accessed via the following link:  Access is currently limited to faculty members.

The Biorepository FAQ, Dictionary, and Tutorial can be found at the following links:

We welcome input from faculty regarding the user-friendliness and output results from searches.  Please access the biorepository query tools via TissueTracker and select Biorepository Services.  Please send any comments or suggestions regarding your experience to Mary McConnell at

Proposed Center for the Achievement of Human Potential

Over the past year, two workgroups within the College of Medicine have been working to develop recommendations for how we can better serve the needs of our patients with ADHD and Autism spectrum disorders, while also promoting enhanced research and educational opportunities in these areas.  I met with members of those workgroups earlier this spring to discuss their proposals, both of which recommended that comprehensive centers be established.  While we unfortunately do not have the resources needed at this time to fund comprehensive centers focused on clinical, research, and educational objectives identified by those groups, we would like to begin by forming a center that could perhaps better address the clinical needs of these patient populations.  This center would then be expected to develop over time into a more comprehensive center inclusive of research and educational efforts.  The “Center for the Achievement of Human Potential” has been recommended as a working title for this new center, which would initially pull together the clinical services for both child and adult patients with ADHD and/or Autism spectrum disorders.  One goal would be to physically co-locate as many clinical services as possible to make caring for these populations more convenient for the patients and their families.

I am initiating an internal search for a College of Medicine clinician to serve as director for this new center.  Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and CV to me by June 14.  Nominations of individuals for consideration should be submitted to me by June 7.

Epic Research Implementation Survey

If you are involved in human subjects research and have ever or might ever use Epic to recruit patients, review research patient charts, enter orders for research, schedule patients for research, or review bills for research, the Epic Research team wants to hear from you so that your security rights can be configured correctly in Epic.  Please complete a very brief survey to let the Epic Research team know your current human subjects research roles so that the Epic research workflows can be made to mirror them as much as possible.  The survey can be found at  The survey asks for your name so that appropriate security rights can be assigned to you personally.

Epic Research functionality is slated to go live in the summer of 2014.  Essential to implementation are correctly assigning security rights and creating a training curriculum for individuals using the system.  The goal is to make the new Epic research workflows look as similar to current workflows as possible.  It has become clear that roles related to billing, charges, chart review, creating orders, scheduling, and setting up study administrative records for billing differ across colleges/departments/divisions/centers.  This survey is being sent to the entire University community to help define how the roles are currently assigned in each area.  From that, the Epic Research team will define a more standard workflow and reach out to areas where workflow differs from the “standard” to determine how we might move forward.  Questions about this initiative can be directed to Dr. Jim Oates, IT Director of Research and Reporting, at

“Teaching as Research” Workshop

The MUSC Apple Tree Society is offering a faculty workshop series this summer on “Teaching as Research”.  This four-part series will focus on advancing knowledge about education, encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education, and promoting the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.  Sessions will be held from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  The first session, scheduled for June 26, will be led by Dr. Chip Mainous on the topic of “Identifying Appropriate Research Questions.”  Session two will be led by Drs. Patty Coker Bolt and Suzanne Thomas on the topic of “Designing Your Dream Education Study” on July 10.  Drs. Amy Blue and Chip Mainous will lead session three on August 5 which will cover “Writing and Publishing Your Study.”  The date for session four, which will include examples of educational research projects has not yet been confirmed.  Interested faculty should register by the June 14 deadline by going to

Annual CATTS Mandatory Training

It is time for all employees to complete the University’s annual CATTS mandatory training modules.  Completion of all modules is due by June 30.  The system is easily accessed online at using your NetID and password.  Questions regarding this training should be directed to your supervisor or respective human resources office.

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have created new electronic discussion platforms focusing on education, research, clinical affairs, and general information from the Dean’s Office and the College of Medicine.  These forums are intended to serve several purposes.  First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students.  Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions.  These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership.  Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard.  You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:

As always....

Let's work together to meet our strategic planning goal - to be in the Top 25 among academic medical centers for reputation, quality, service, efficiency and financial performance by 2015.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.



Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine